Friday, January 27, 2012

Marketing Finance Products in a Down Economy

When the economy is going well and customers are spending money there is typically less emphasis on selling process of financial services products. However, during a down economy a financial institution's marketing finance team needs to develop a plan for increasing sales from top to bottom.

Market Focus

During a down economy it is important for all institutions selling financial products to determine the focus of their marketing efforts. To do this an institution must understand the needs of their customers that are being served by the products being offered and their available resources. Resources to consider will need to include the marketing budget and if customer needs can adequately be met. To determine which customer needs should be met a survey or focus group can be used.

Marketing Plan

Once the market focus has been determined a marketing plan needs to be developed. This plan needs to define the customer segments to target specific products. The plan also requires the services that will be necessary to meet the needs of each customer segment. Once this marketing plan has been developed, it needs to be analyzed with the resources that the financial institution has available to complete their plan successfully.

Upgrading Technology

The customers of financial institutions in a down market expect advances in technology to decrease the cost of doing business. Technology upgrades can include a new phone system or an updated website that allows customers to conduct business online. The use of apps for customers using smartphone should be considered to aid customers who are mobile or travel. Financial institutions should look at the products that are offered by competitors to not fall behind.

Avoid Mistakes

One mistake that financial institutions need to avoid in a down market is to provide to many products to all customer segments. Financial institutions can improve efficiency by highlighting three or four of the most popular products or services that are offered. Other products can still be offered but focus needs to concentrated on only a few.

Promote Service

Many financial institutions offer the same type of products and services to customers. This means when in a down economy the quality of service needs to be emphasized. To do this a customers problems can be addressed at the first point of contact and not escalated to higher levels. This enhances the quality of service that can differentiate one marketing finance team from another.

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